Integral Psychotherapy

Jeffrey Ethan Jessum, Ph.D


Integral Psychotherapy


  The word integral refers to the entirety of something.  To approach something from an integral perspective is to approach it in a way that attempts to leave nothing out. 

An integral approach to psychotherapy recognizes the richness, diversity and uniqueness of human beings and asserts that to help people effectively realize their full potential, it is essential that we look at the entirety of who they are.

Because of this, an integral approach draws from many different well-established disciplines based on the needs of the client.  While integral psychology draws upon many traditional psychological schools of thought, it also recognizes that no one psychological approach can meet the needs of all people. 

For example, some people need straightforward cognitive behavioral tools for coping, while others need deeper, more dynamic approaches to understanding themselves.  Some need to approach therapy through talk and language, while others need more non-verbal, body oriented approaches to therapy. 

Some need ways to explore the richness of their personalities and self-identities, while others need to cultivate ways of accessing more transpersonal aspects of who they are. Some need to explore their pasts while others need to focus on the present and the future.  For some, there is a strong need to focus on their relationships with others, while other individuals need to focus on developing their relationships with themselves. 

From an integral perspective, all of these different approaches are important and very effective at different points in an individual’s development.  But what is effective for one individual is not necessarily effective for another, and for therapy to work it is essential that the style of therapy is personally tailored to the needs of the particular individual.  One size does not fit all. 

Integral Theory

An integral therapeutic approach is set within the framework of integral theory, as put forth by Ken Wilber.  For a summary of integral theory click here: Integral Theory.  For more on this and related topics, you can visit the Integral Institute

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